The other people who live in my house have their birthdays this week. Edie came home from the hospital ON Pat’s birthday actually. I’ll admit, I milked that for a few years. I still struggle with pulling off celebrations for both of them. After all, they are two days apart!
This year, Edie’s birthday falls smack dab in the middle of the week. It was decided that her party would be the following weekend. Since Pat’s birthday is actually on that weekend, I decided to have his celebration first, so it wouldn’t get swept under the rug, as it seems to be every year. So, Saturday night, we had a few friends over for drinks and cake.
To start off the baking, I mean, birthday week, I decided to go with a cheese cake. I topped it with peaches I canned from our tree in the front yard. I cooked them just a wee bit, added some corn starch to thicken it and voila.
The recipe is my treasured, handwritten copy of Mrs. Van Popple’s cheesecake. I think I was about 8 when I declared this the best cheesecake ever and my Aunt Loretta made it for me every chance she got. I’m not really sure who Mrs. Van Popple was, I think she may have been married to someone my Uncle Peter worked with, for? Whomever she was, she had one incredible cheesecake recipe. Andoreda, as we kids called her, fought a long, hard battle with cancer. The last time I saw her, she said, oh, let me get you that recipe, and I knew she knew, this was the last time I was ever going to see her. There was no way she would just hand that recipe off. Anytime I asked about it before, she would just bake me the cheesecake. She had a brain tumor at that point, for years I had gotten letters from her with gibberish in the middle that I knew was caused by it, and sure enough, there is some gibberish in the recipe. I had to learn to bake before I could decipher it.
And so, the best way I know to start my week of baking for loved ones is to start with the recipe that got me going.